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NCAA violation related to ESPN College GameDay leads Ohio State to halt recruitment of 5-star 2018 prospect

This is, well, different.

According to The Lantern, Ohio State’s student newspaper, Ohio State agreed to stop its recruitment of five-star 2018 prospect Micah Parsons “and declared him ineligible for an unknown amount of time.” The football program self-reported NCAA violations Sept. 26 in connection to Parsons’ visit to the OSU campus Sept. 9.

On that day, ESPN‘s College GameDay pregame show was in town for the huge OSU-Oklahoma matchup. The violations stem from Parsons, who was being taken on a campus tour by football recruiting assistant Ed Terwilliger, and his family being invited onto the GameDay set. One violation occurred when the group was given credentials by the pregame show’s producer. Another arose after Parsons took photographs with on-air talent, which subsequently went out on social media.

From the newspaper’s report:

Parsons is unnamed in the self-reported violation records, due to FERPA protection, and is referred to as a “2018 prospective student-athlete.” But he is believed to be the recruit implicated in the report because he was photographed on the College GameDay set and retweeted pictures of him with former Ohio State quarterback and current College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit, former Ohio State running back and College GameDay celebrity guest picker Eddie George, and College GameDay analyst Lee Corso and host Rece Davis.

... the recruit met Herbstreit on the show’s set, took a photo with two College GameDay analysts who are not former Ohio State players — believed to be Corso and Davis — while sitting on-stage, and met George off the set, according to the records. Though recruits on official visits are able to speak with former student-athletes of the school they are visiting, they are not allowed to “have contact with members of the media associated with former student-athletes.”

“As such, a violation of NCAA Bylaws 13.10.1 and occurred, as members of the media may not be present during an institution’s recruiting contact with a prospect and a prospect may not participate in team activities that would make the public or media aware of the prospect’s visit to the institution,” Ohio State’s self-violation report said.

In addition to the sanctions related to Parsons, Terwilliger was suspended by the football program for a game and issued a letter of reprimand. As for the television show, “College GameDay producers and analysts will also be ‘provided education’ during future broadcasts involving Ohio State,” the paper wrote.

Parsons is a consensus five-star 2018 recruit, rated as the No. 1 weakside defensive end in the country; the No. 1 player at any position in the state of Pennsylvania; and the No. 4 player overall on‘s composite board.

Despite the sanctions, OSU is included on the list Parsons released Monday of the six teams he’s considering signing with on the first early signing period Wednesday. Others that made the cut include Penn State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Alabama. At the moment, it’s believed that Parsons, a Pennsylvania native who decommitted from PSU in April of this year, is a heavy lean back toward the Nittany Lions.